Multiple high-ranking sources with knowledge of the situation have informed The Smoking Musket that Bill Stewart allegedly served as one source of the contentious Herald-Dispatch report of Dana Holgorsen's purported alcohol-related incidents.
While shocking, this isn't all that improbable: Stewart has Marshall connections after coaching for the Thundering Herd under Sonny Randle in 1980.
The alleged incidents involving Holgorsen, which were first laid out by Landon, then partially refuted by WVU and Charleston Daily Mail reporter Mike Casazza, have been a black mark on WVU's football program for the past two weeks.
And Stewart, it seems, has established a pattern of being less than forthcoming recently in his leadership role as Mountaineer football coach. Beyond the Holgorsen allegations, Stewart has also reportedly failed to sign the final version of the renegotiated contract agreed upon during the original coaching transition. While coaches operating on unsigned contracts isn't a new concept in college football, the context under which Stewart has declined begs skepticism.
All of this comes on the heels of increasing tales of staff dissatisfaction. A high level Mountaineer Athletic Club official said just this past weekend that he had "never seen things this bad" and that the entire staff was in "disarray." The coach-in-waiting model has been debated ad nauseum since Oliver Luck's decision to employ such an unorthodox strategy in the transition from Stewart to Holgorsen. Based on the alleged events in the past weeks, the worries expressed seem founded on solid footing.
UPDATE #1: Mike Casazza has reported that WVU commenced an investigation into the reported leaks out of the athletic department.
West Virginia University is searching for anonymous contributors to newspaper stories it says contain "blatant inaccuracies" about the football team's head coach-in-waiting and offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen.
Two senior university officials told the Charleston Daily Mail the scope includes members of the entire football program as well as other athletic-affiliated organizations.
This investigation has also affected the exit agreement between the University and Coach Stewart.
The timing of WVU's internal inquiry, which is a normal procedure in response to such incidents, matches up with a pause in the concluding phase of Coach Bill Stewart's separation agreement with the university.
Two sources said the contract has been awaiting signatures for weeks, but has been tabled as the athletic department determines who has and has not participated in fabricating stories about Holgorsen and compromising the coaching transition.